April, May, June, July, August, and now with this week’s post, we will have used up every Friday in the month of September re-telling this wonderful, wacky, and overly drawn out tale of my Millionaire Journey! Can you believe it’s been six months already? Why, I feel like I just started writing this last week!
Last week, we saw Amy Turner dazzle her way to $16,000 in the Hot Seat, earning more than enough to buy herself that dishwasher she always wanted along with some custom seat covers for her Austin Healey Sprite… assuming she can make it past the critical $32,000 question, that is. Sure, she talked a lot and maybe stalled a bit, but hey, we’d all do the same if we were under those white hot lights having to answer these questions for real life-changing stakes. Now that she’s answered nine questions and had nearly 20 minutes of real time in the Hot Seat, certainly things will go much easier for her, right……????
$32,000 – What is the name for the light, crescent-shaped mark at the base of the fingernail?
Amy does her best to evilly stare down this question while she figures out what her best strategy is to get to that safe haven of 32 grand. The first words out of her mouth, “I don’t have any manicurists on my phone a friend list,” is typical of a lot of the nonsense babble contestants will spit out under the pressure of playing the game. Sure, it sounds reasonable, until you really think about the fact that knowing the stupid name someone once gave to an imaginary part of the body has absolutely no bearing on the fitness of one as a manicurist…
I could be wrong, though as a self-manicurist who has trimmed my nails with my teeth all of my life, it never once occurred to me what in the hell that white thingy at the bottom of my nails might be called… if anything. Must we name something that serves absolutely no purpose at all? Something that would never come up in casual conversation, even with your manicurist? Something that only exists to make trivia hounds believe they are smarter than everyone else because they’ve retained the most useless knowledge?
Regis reminds Amy that this is one of those mysteries we always wondered about as a kid… and Amy plays right along with him. It’s quite obvious both of these people did not grow up in the era of video games like I did. I was too worried about finding that other castle that the princess was hiding in, or how the hell to get past that fucking Moblin in the 7th dungeon on Zelda to pay any attention to the fact that there was that grotesque looking light colored blob hiding beneath each of my fingernails.
What is that damn thing called anyhow?
Amy has two lifelines left at her disposal, the Phone a Friend and the 50/50. The latter wouldn’t really do any good at this point, so she’s mulling over who on her list of friends would be the person most likely to know some insignificant shit like this. Regis isn’t much help at this point, suggesting maybe Amy has one of her girlfriends as a lifeline who’s maybe had a manicure before and would maybe, perhaps know, ummm…
Amy scrolls down her PAF roll… she has someone with medical knowledge…
She has her sister, who would “have an absolute heart attack” if she called her… oh, let’s call her just for fun, Amy says jokingly! I could admonish Amy for having such a useless lifeline who would go into cardiac arrest if she were to be called upon to answer a trivia question, but Regis does the job for me, scolding Amy for forgetting that the dishwasher is on the line here, and she needs to bear down here and do something seriously helpful, like call a person who’s had a manicure before.
Next up is the sports guy, who Amy immediately dismisses. Regis kinda likes the medical lifeline here…
Amy finally decides on who to call….
Bart is someone she knows from Colorado who is a fellow computer programmer. Amy says Bart has more medical knowledge than she does, while Regis once again takes the opportunity to mock the fact that me and him are obviously the only two people involved with the show that day who AREN’T in computer related fields.
I always imagined there was a lot of editing involved in getting the phone a friend on the line once the lifeline was invoked, but I was shocked to see everything occurred just as smoothly in real time as it appeared to while watching at home. Within seconds of Regis asking AT&T to get Bart on the line, we hear the his Rocky Mountain voice in the studio.
Bart admits he’s not happy to hear Regis’ voice, making him about as pussified as Amy’s sister. But he’s going to try to win that dishwasher for his gal.
Amy carefully reads off the question, making sure to speak loudly enough for Bart to hear her voice from 2,000 miles away even without the phone. It’s never good when halfway through the thirty seconds, your long distance lifeline asks you to repeat the question. She does so, even spelling out two of the choices, and leaving just 8 seconds for Bart to quit staring at his fingernails and give a fucking answer…
Bart: I’m gonna go with A. Velum!
Amy: How sure?
Bart: About 60…
Amy: Is it a guess!?!?
It’s uncertain what Bart was trying to spit out of his mouth as the thirty seconds expired on the phone a friend meter, and all communications to the Mountain Time Zone were cut off.
It sounded like he was starting to answer Amy’s final query with “No”, that his answer wasn’t a guess… but then again, he only stated 60% confidence in Velum anyway. That might be fine and dandy for a President’s approval rating, but for a question that literally meant the difference between leaving with $1,000 and $32,000, that wouldn’t be very convincing for me, and it certainly wasn’t for Amy.
This is where Good Regis, who I raved about a few posts back in this series, went to work…
Whether it’s the strong, silent type like Ed Toutant, or the bubbly, vivacious kind of contestant that Amy was, Regis was always the contestant’s biggest champion. Even though those of us dying in Finalist Puragtory are shooting Superman-like laser beams out of our eyes at her by this point, Regis’ main concern is always with the person who’s sitting right in front of him… and he wanted Amy to get this question right so she’d leave with a nice chunk of ABC’s spare change.
So Regis tries to talk some sense into Amy in case she had any wild ideas about blindly going with Bart’s 60% guess and asks if she’d like to use that 50/50 to see if Velum survives the cut or not. As much as Amy would love to save that lifeline for later, she knows she’s up Shit Creek without a boat oar, and realizes that Regis’ advice to sanity-check Bart is wise….
And lo and behold….
Goodbye Cusp, and more importantly, goodbye to Bart’s answer of Velum. Amy’s totally losing it over the fact that the only lead she had for this question has just disappeared like dirt under the fingernail, while Regis is having even more fun mocking Bart on national primetime television than I am on this blog that’s read by a few dedicated readers and maybe a possum or two. “So much for the big, bad computer programmer, whatever that is, whatever he does!” Methinks Regis may be a closet technophobe…
Regis then further chides Amy by saying he’d advised her to call a woman instead… a woman would have known this! What exactly this statement says about Amy, who I’m pretty sure is a female herself, only Da Reege himself could explain.
Oh my, oh dear…. what is Amy going to do now? She has no earthly idea what the answer to this question is, and all of the help she is allowed under the game’s official rules is gone. She already had to ask the audience about petty officers, she called Bart, she found out he’s a 60% dumbass with the 50/50. There’s no more lifelines left, Amy….
Or is there?
It turns out Regis knows the answer to this question, or at least thinks he does… and he knows just how to get Amy to realize what it is…
Regis: “LUN-ula…. where does LUN-ula come from?”
I will swear on any Bible that will not burn my hand that the sound of mental light bulbs popping as soon as Regis gave that careful breakdown of Lunula was actually audible. There was just a vibe that this question seemed as foreign to almost everyone else in the studio as it obviously was to Amy… and that vibe totally disappeared the millisecond Regis let loose with the key to deciphering this question….
As nastily as Regis had just mocked Bart, who was 2/3 of the way across the country and would have to wait two weeks to hear how much he was made fun of, Regis just made us all look like total morons by showing us that the key to unlocking this fucked up question was right in front of our faces the whole damn time! Like myself, Amy catches on right away, and a smile almost returns to her face.
To be fair, and to make it look like he wasn’t intentionally feeding Amy any of his superior knowledge, Regis then asks her what Axilla sounds like.
Once everyone is done laughing at Amy’s divine comedy, it’s back to the serious business of this question. Sure, Lunula looks like it’s correct…. but then again, we all thought Tomato looked correct on Ed’s fatal question not even a half hour ago. Regis has done his job of putting Amy on what he believes to be the correct track, and now the final decision is up to her. Leave with $16,000… more than enough to get a dishwasher, a tattoo, and even a tattoo for her new dishwasher. Or press on and risk getting the boot with just a grand in pocket for the chance at $32,000 and beyond….
Well, what’s it going to be, Amy?
Amy starts talking about what she could buy with $1,000…. a decent dishwasher. She could get a whole new kitchen for $32,000.
Amy: I gotta go for it!
Amy: I gotta try
Regis: I understand…
Amy: The one that makes sense…
It was really cute how Regis seemed to be finishing Amy’s thoughts for her. At this point, I don’t think it was so much out of trying to help her advance as it was trying to get her to either shit or get off the Hot Pot. Regis doesn’t have the same financial stake in Amy’s stalling that me and my eight cohorts surrounding her do, but even he seems to be getting a bit impatient now. He has things to do and people to see, and he’s not getting any younger…
Amy starts to babble back the reasoning behind how Lunula connects to crescent shaped markings, the whole while looking for more assurance from Regis, who is completely done helping her out. In air time, seven minutes have already passed since this question was first posed to Amy… it’s been even longer in the real time of the studio. What’s worse is because of the slow pace Amy has proceeded at, it feels like she’s had this question for an eternity now!
“I’m just trying to get through the day!” Regis finally retorts to her indecisiveness and attempt at maybe drawing another hint, getting another laugh from a studio audience that desperately needs a pee break. Legend is, Regis once had a contestant take 52 minutes to answer a single question… and while it hasn’t been anywhere near that long yet with Amy’s $32,000 query, the day sure seems to be dragging along…
Amy’s finally decided to go for it!
And we’re going to commercial break #3….
And if you survived this week’s post, congratulations. You are a real trooper, and a true blue fan of The Saga. And since this edition didn’t get even close to as far along as I wanted to get… that means I get to tack on one more post to the series! Yes, the neverending story just got even more neverendinger…
Me, Amy and Regis will see you next Friday!